.

Leo Frank 97th Lynching Anniversary

At sunrise on Aug. 17, 1915, a crowd in Marietta gathered around Leo Frank's body, hanging from a tree on the property of former sheriff William Frey.

Today is the 97th anniversary of the after he was abducted from the state prison in Milledgeville and driven overnight. At sunrise on Aug. 17, 1915, a crowd in Marietta gathered around his body, hanging from a tree on the property of former sheriff William Frey.

A hard-to-spot historical marker stands on the spot along Roswell Road just west of the Interstate 75 overpass.

It’s the only known instance in American history of a Jew being lynched, and it was carried out with the involvement of some of Marietta’s leading citizens in revenge for the murder of 13-year-old Mary Phagan in 1913.

Frank was convicted of the murder. While no one knows for sure who killed Phagan, the evidence points toward the main witness against Frank, Jim Conley, rather than Frank himself.

More on Leo Frank

: There is nothing simple about Marietta's most infamous story. Read the first in a three-part series on the case.

While anti-Semitism played a role in the lynching of Leo Frank, it does not appear to have been a factor in his trial. Read part two in a three-part story.

Between Frank's conviction in 1913 and his lynching in 1915, a national pro-Frank media campaign met with a backlash of antisemitism.

Keep up with all the news you care about by subscribing to our free email newsletterliking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.

Smyrnan August 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM
Awful. And one of my ancestors is in that picture.
Chuck Volner August 17, 2012 at 11:50 AM
The Truth is....He DiD not commit that Act. It has come out that the Chief witness against Leo is the one who Admitted to doing it on his Deathbed. An Innocent man was Murdered, and the Klan re-born, because of a Lie and him being Jewish. That's not the first time an Injustice was done for an ethnic reason....Ask the Cherokees, whose forefathers were driven from this land.
Darren Wheeler August 18, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Read this article. Leo Frank either absolutely committed the murder, or he knew who did and contradicted himself during trial. Also, according to the writer, there was no Jewish element in his being killed. http://theatre_chick.tripod.com/Phagan.htm
Mark Cohen August 23, 2012 at 06:26 AM
"Frank was convicted of the murder. While no one knows for sure who killed Phagan, the evidence points toward the main witness against Frank, Jim Conley, rather than Frank himself." Did every level of the United States Judicial System which reviewed the Leo Frank trial transcript overlook compelling evidence of Leo Frank's innocence and Jim Conley's guilt? Perhaps you could share this compelling evidence that exonerates Leo Frank, because the Georgia Supreme Court ruled the evidence and testimony presented at the Leo Frank trial was sufficient to render a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. They also ruled that Leo Frank had a fair trial. The Leo Frank Trial Brief of Evidence (1913) is available on one of the State of Georgia's web site called the 'Georgia Virtual Vault'. Could you please draw on this evidence presented at the trial or elsewhere, sharing it with the public, that proves Leo Frank innocent and Jim Conley guilty? All of the three major newspapers (Constitution, Journal and Georgian) covering the Mary Phagan murder investigation are available on microfilm at several major libraries in Georgia, perhaps you can draw from these sources as well, because I know many people would love to know more about this evidence to exonerate Leo Frank. The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, pardoned, Leo Frank, but they didn't exonerate him, so it would be helpful to share this evidence they may have overlooked.
Mark Cohen August 23, 2012 at 06:30 AM
When and where did Jim Conley die? Where can I learn more about this Jim Conley deathbed confession? This is the first time I've heard of this death bed confession.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »